By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
The grass is greening and the temperature is rising, sure signs that golf season is here.
Golf season kicked off this week for both boys and girls teams in the area.
West High is seeking a fourth consecutive state tournament appearance in Class 5A while boys teams in Classes 1A, 2A and 3A will play for state tournament spots this spring.
With golf season already in full swing here are five area players to keep an eye on this season.
Senior, West High
Amelon has ended each of her first three prep seasons at the state meet and is coming off her best state showing to date last season when she shot a two-day total of 167 to place 16th.
The senior finished third at the Mississippi Valley Conference Super Meet last season with a 78 on her way to earning first-team all-conference honors.
Junior, City High
Shield earned honorable mention Mississippi Valley Conference honors last season after finishing 15th at the Mississippi divisional meet.
The junior ranked third on the team with a 53.53 nine-hole average last season and is the top returning golfer and one of two returning letterwinners for the Little Hawks.
Reegan Helle, Dani Carter
The duo gives the Spartans a pair of experienced golfer at the top of a roster that returns five of its top six players from last season.
Helle ranked second on the team with a 52.8 average last season as a freshman when she earned all-conference honors and advanced to the regional final.
Carter posted the best season of her career last year as a junior, leading the Spartans with a 50.1 average and posted the top nine-hole (46) and 18-hole (79) scores.
Carter was an all-WAMAC honoree last year and finished sixth at the WAMAC East Divisional meet with a 50.
Junior, West Branch
Thein cut nearly two strokes off his nine-hole average last season when he led West Branch with a 47.95 last season as a sophomore.
The junior carded the lowers nine-hole (41) and 18-hole (85) scores on the team last season and is one of four regular varsity players on a West Branch team poised to show major improvement this season.
Senior has gotten off to a strong start, earning medalist honors at each of the Spartans first two events last week.
McIlravy played the first 27 holes of the season four over par after shooting a 76 to win the individual title at the Spartans’ home invite last week.
He will have plenty of in-team competition this season as Solon returns its varsity roster virtually intact from last season.